Beforeplay.org is the hub for Colorado and Michigan efforts to reduce unintended pregnancies, promote good sexual and reproductive health and well-being, and help “normalize” conversations about these topics. State borders aren’t a barrier, though – people all over are using Beforeplay.org resources. Women themselves report that about 50% of pregnancies are unplanned, and the rate is even higher among young adults in their twenties. Poor knowledge about effective contraception or how to use it, lack of health insurance and ambivalence toward starting a family—if it happens, it happens—all contribute to this situation. And with 1 in 4 people having an STD, we can do more to raise awareness about, prevent and treat these infections.
Beforeplay.org is here to help people think, discuss and take responsible action on some of life’s biggest decisions – ones that often don’t get enough attention. We help raise the tough questions and ask young people to consider what really makes sense for them. Together, we can help Coloradans lead healthier lives and raise healthier families.
By creating awareness through social media, one-on-one outreach, being out at events, bars and other public venues, and providing a trusted resource that people can relate to, Beforeplay.org is helping people “Just Talk About It” and take action to protect their own health and plan for becoming a parent.
Beforeplay.org is part of the public/private partnership between the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Colorado Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy (CI). Launched in 2008, the CI is an informal coalition of entities providing low-cost family planning services, educational efforts and advocacy.
Beforeplay.org is also part of the Northern Michigan Public Health Alliance and Northern Michigan’s effort to reduce unintended pregnancy and improve preconception health. Great Lakes Chapter of the Society for Public Health Education (GLC-SOPHE) is one of our valued partners in Michigan.
Beforeplay.org’s campaign strategy, design and site is created by Vermilion Design and Digital, a Boulder-based integrated design and interactive agency.
To learn more about the Beforeplay.org, please send us an email.
What’s the point?
How about improving a young person’s chance of completing their high school and higher education, getting a job and raising a healthy child? We can help young adults avoid a difficult step that will impact their future by preventing an unintended pregnancy.
Conversations about birth control, STDs and pregnancy aren’t really at the top of every young person’s list to hang out and talk about. But that’s just the thing; we believe they should be. Women with unintended pregnancies are less likely to obtain early prenatal care and their babies are at increased risks of both low birth weight and preterm birth, which can cause health and development issues all through their lives. An unintended pregnancy can also limit the education and employment opportunities of both parents, often leading to significant financial challenges now and that can continue into the future. STDs can also have a life-long impact on people – and their partners – yet Colorado and Michigan still face challenges preventing and treating them.
Beforeplay.org is here to help people think, talk and act about their sexual lives as part of life overall. We’re surrounded by sexual expression —music, TV, internet and advertising. Beforeplay.org gets deeper into the issues of birth control, pregnancy, STDs and sexuality and spurs conversation and action through reliable information, conversation starters, health center finder and more.
Who are we talking to?
Before Beforeplay.org, Colorado and Michigan did not have an online, all-in-one-place resource devoted to sexual and reproductive health. We’re here now to “talk” to anyone and everyone looking for helpful info about birth control, pregnancy planning, STDs, sexuality, health center locations, conversation starters, and pretty much anything else you could want to know about sexual health. And we’ll do it in English and Spanish.
How will we know we’ve succeeded?
Our goal is to get people talking, thinking and planning. There’s not an easy or comprehensive way that we’ll be able to measure how many people we reach, but it is our hope that the unintended pregnancy and STD rates begins to go down. This type of measurement will take time for many reasons, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on the numbers and will report back what we learn. So stay tuned.
Additionally, while we’ll be tracking our efforts as best we can, we’d love to know if and how Beforeplay.org has helped you personally. So if you’d like, please tell us your story in an email so we can continue helping even more Coloradans and Michiganders live healthier, happier lives.